Game Development Journal 7: Creating the Player Struct

When I started out this project, I tried to figure out what pieces needed to be in place to create a working prototype of this game without a user interface. I am planning to start off making this a command line application that can be played with text input and output.

I tentatively narrowed it down to these components:

  • A representation of the game “board” with all the player’s remaining money and the current state of the game. This will determine if any player has run out of money and if the game should continue after each hand.
  • A representation of a complete hand of the game. This is where the game logic for scoring and win conditions will be stored.
  • A representation of a player.
  • A representation of a deck of cards.

Since every part of this list is dependent upon the thing that comes after it, it made sense to start with the deck, which is at the bottom and is a dependency for everything else.

Now that the deck is completed, I can build up the next lowest section, which is the Player data structure.

The Player data structure will include logic that is both transient and persistent, which is unique to this structure. The game board is primarily concerned with items that persist from hand to hand, while the hand only cares about what happens during it’s lifecycle. The player has to know both things that are transient during a specific hand and persistent throughout the game.

If I am a player, the things that should know about myself are the following:

  • Amount of money I have
  • Current cards in my hand
  • What cards I have captured
  • Number of times I have chosen to continue the game after satisfying a win scenario

A player needs to have a persistent property that tells them how much money that have at any given point in time. If you run out of money, then you can no longer play. This amount will change at the end of each hand and will be used to determine the winner.

The rest of the things a player needs to know are transient and change after each turn. A player needs to know the current cards in their hand. They need to know what cards they have captured so that a win condition can be determined. A player also needs to know if they have achieved a win scenario but decided to defer the win to try and accumulate more points.

struct Player {
    // There are things that are persisted from hand to hand
    var currentMoney:Double
    // There are hand-specific properties
    var hand:[Card]
    var capturedCards:[Card]
    var numberOfDeferrals:Int

At this point in time, I do not think that the Player needs any methods placed upon it. The way I am conceptualizing it, the Player simply needs to encapsulate all of the properties the Player needs to be aware of. These can be changed and referenced based on game specific logic in both the Board and Hand classes.

I will revisit this later after I get the other classes filled out to see if I have made a fundamental mistake on this class.

I also need a way to switch between players. Each game will have three players in it, so I also need to create a data structure to hold all of my players. This seems a good place for an enum:

enum Players {
    case PlayerA
    case PlayerB
    case PlayerC

Today was rather busy and so I didn’t work much on this today. The next bit is going to be a lot more complicated. I am percolating on how to approach the next chunk of my programming application.

One exciting development on this project is that I created my prototype project and made my first commit to my private repository for this project. I would like to share as much of my logic on here as possible without just completely open sourcing the application.

Next on the docket is writing the Hand data structure. That is the most complicated part of the application so far, so this may constitute multiple posts as I figure out the best way to approach it. Stay tuned!